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View Full Version : S&W 686 vs. 686+


goofcat
04-18-2012, 2:29 PM
Hey gang,

Been thinking about getting a wheel gun. Looking at the 686. Just wondering what your takes on the 6 shot 686 as compared to the 7 round 686 plus. I'm looking to get the 4 inch barrel of either. Is one considered better or more valuable than the other?

Thanks,

223556
04-18-2012, 2:32 PM
Im sure both are great revolvers!
Im not too familiar with the models other then the capicity.

I like the "6 shooter" better hehehe more traditional.

Plus Im sure its smaller then the 7 round 686+

I have a S&W 642 snubby I love :)

Freq18Hz
04-18-2012, 3:04 PM
The 686+ is a newer 7 rounddesign. If you want a 686, you should try to find an older 6 shot pre-lock model. They are on average built much better, do not contain MIM parts, and do not have the trigger lock which can fail under rare circumstances. As a wise man once said "if you can't get it done with 6 shots, you shouldn't be doing it."

No matter what revolver you decide to pursue, you need to read the revolver check out procedure that is Sticky'd here. Finding a well built smith isn't guaranteed with the older guns, and can be considerably harder if shopping for a new one.

Here's some pics of my pre-lock 686-3 4" to whet your appetite.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq184/freq18hz/0a636754.jpg
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq184/freq18hz/5fba6a44.jpg
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq184/freq18hz/4a66e899.jpg
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq184/freq18hz/0d0efe88.jpg

-Freq

ckprax
04-18-2012, 3:43 PM
There really isn't much difference other than the extra shot. You can find pre-lock, pre-mim 7 shot guns but they are not common. An additional benefit to the 7 shot is that the trigger pull will be slightly shorter since the cylinder does not move as far between shots.

Here is my 686-3
http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m519/cprax/Smith%20and%20Wesson/ckpraxphotos157.jpg

gorenut
04-18-2012, 4:17 PM
There really isn't much difference other than the extra shot. You can find pre-lock, pre-mim 7 shot guns but they are not common. An additional benefit to the 7 shot is that the trigger pull will be slightly shorter since the cylinder does not move as far between shots.



Pretty much what I was going to say. Even more noticeable in 8 shots from my 627 vs other 6 shot N Frames.

gunafficionado
04-18-2012, 5:49 PM
I've had a 686+ for over 10 years now, no complaints so far. I've heard of 686+ with cylinder timing problems but that's about it. Haven't had a MIM part break....yet.

littlejake
04-18-2012, 7:36 PM
Cylinder diameter is identical for the 686 and 686+. They space the chambers closer together. The weak point in the 6 shot cylinder is where the index bolt notch is cut right at the thinnest part of the chamber wall. With the 7 shot, they moved the index bolt off center in the frame and cut the index notches between cylinders. Something they've done for a long time on 5 shot J-frames. I've owned the 586, the 686+ and a special run of 586+, all in 4 inch; all pre-lock; and they were all great guns.

I wish S&W would drop that silly lock.

Brandon04GT
04-18-2012, 9:55 PM
I don't mean to hijack but I am also interested in a 686 and heard the 686-4 is the best version to get. Is this true? Am I also correct that they make a 686-4 in a 7 shot as well?

jyo
04-18-2012, 10:22 PM
I would look for a nice used 686 4" pre-lock and be happy to grab the best deal I could find---6 or 7 shot---you will have revolver that will last the rest of your life and the life of whoever gets it next...

goofcat
04-18-2012, 11:49 PM
Thanks for all the info and the pretty pictures. Now I'm a bit worried that this wheel gun thing is not easily contained at just one gun.

I have a lead on a 686+ 4 inch near new, but it is the lock model. What would you guys say is a fair price?

ckprax
04-19-2012, 6:40 AM
I would say around $600. I got mine for $575 about a year ago and it had the origiinal wood target grips (and no lock).

t0kie
04-19-2012, 8:06 AM
Cylinder diameter is identical for the 686 and 686+. They space the chambers closer together. The weak point in the 6 shot cylinder is where the index bolt notch is cut right at the thinnest part of the chamber wall. With the 7 shot, they moved the index bolt off center in the frame and cut the index notches between cylinders. Something they've done for a long time on 5 shot J-frames. I've owned the 586, the 686+ and a special run of 586+, all in 4 inch; all pre-lock; and they were all great guns.

I wish S&W would drop that silly lock.

Bingo!

Mr. Gillious
04-19-2012, 8:09 AM
i'm in the market to buy the same thing too. i've decided to get the 686+ for the 7 round cap. they both feel the same in the hand IMO but i just like the 686 plus cause it has 7 which really much weight felt compared to the 6 shooter... i'm just waiting for my 30 to get done and i will get one.

Bongos
04-19-2012, 8:09 AM
Cylinder diameter is identical for the 686 and 686+. They space the chambers closer together. The weak point in the 6 shot cylinder is where the index bolt notch is cut right at the thinnest part of the chamber wall. With the 7 shot, they moved the index bolt off center in the frame and cut the index notches between cylinders. Something they've done for a long time on 5 shot J-frames. I've owned the 586, the 686+ and a special run of 586+, all in 4 inch; all pre-lock; and they were all great guns.

I wish S&W would drop that silly lock.

+1 Going price on these are $600-$650 (though lots are asking in the $700-$750 range)

9mmepiphany
04-19-2012, 12:32 PM
Just curious, as I've never seen them, but who makes speedloaders for the 686+. The only other down side is that it wouldn't be competitive in IDPA

ckprax
04-19-2012, 12:39 PM
Just curious, as I've never seen them, but who makes speedloaders for the 686+. The only other down side is that it wouldn't be competitive in IDPA

The most common are HKS and Safariland. The Safariland Comp II is good for carry and the comp III for IDPA. With practice they can be as fast as using moonclips or a semiauto. I need to practice more :)

oops... I didn't see the plus, not sure who makes them for that and you are right there is no benefit for IDPA.

paul0660
04-19-2012, 12:40 PM
Just curious, as I've never seen them, but who makes speedloaders for the 686+. The only other down side is that it wouldn't be competitive in IDPA

There are several 7 shot speedloaders available.

97F1504RAD
04-19-2012, 1:04 PM
The most common are HKS and Safariland. The Safariland Comp II is good for carry and the comp III for IDPA. With practice they can be as fast as using moonclips or a semiauto. I need to practice more :)

oops... I didn't see the plus, not sure who makes them for that and you are right there is no benefit for IDPA.

The info on the HKS is correct they do make them for the 686+, the part number i think is 587

Dark Mod
04-19-2012, 3:12 PM
Ive got a 686+ and i love it. To be honest im sure i wouldnt miss the 7th round terribly if i didnt have it buts its nice. Same capacity as most 1911's

stix213
04-19-2012, 3:29 PM
My only revolver I own is an old school 6" 686 (no dash, no M). Great great gun.

7 Shot 686+ sounds 16.7% better though :D Unfortunately I haven't shot one of those yet, so can't compare.

scarville
04-19-2012, 3:33 PM
I have a 6", a 4" and two 3" 686+ revolvers. All I can say is they are good guns and can, with a little work, be made better. I may pick and choose among my other handguns on range day but my 686+ w/3" bbl always goes with me.

Just curious, as I've never seen them, but who makes speedloaders for the 686+. The only other down side is that it wouldn't be competitive in IDPA

It would be a handicap to have a seven or eight shooter in competition. IDPA requires the seven (and eight) shooters to be loaded with only six rounds. For obvious reasons, no one uses them. Kind of silly for a "practical" shooting sport but that's the rule.

The least expensive speedloader for the 686+ I know of -- about $7 to $10 each -- are the HKS. With practice you can use them to reload quickly and safely. Personally I like the SL-Variant but they're running about $32 apiece for the seven shot model.

Avoid the Maxfire.

Echidin
04-19-2012, 3:40 PM
5 star makes billet aluminum speedloaders for the 686+. I've got a couple of them for mine. They're a little more expensive than some of the others out there, but they are a quality product.

http://www.5starfirearms.com/357_7.html

bwiese
04-19-2012, 4:21 PM
MIM should not be regarded as a fault for revolver action parts. They'll be mfgd w/tighter
tolerances than the older parts.
.
Late 686/686+ (i.e., w/MIM parts) are very very good guns with very good triggers and excellent
barrels and top-notch accuracy. There'll be less shooting variability across a pool of new-generation
686s than between those from a pool of brand-new old-generation 686s.
.
The 'lock' issue is spurious. A few internet posts have magnified this into something drama queens
and collectors jump up & down about. Real-world shooters don't have to. Also this happened a
long time ago (i.e, product improvement since). It's also easy to remove its blocking functionality -
just 'shave' the peg.
.
I have both a 1988 vintage 686-2 from my dad, and a 2005 625 (with internal lock). My late buddy,
Calgunner Parag Patel, had a 2005 686+. I love both my guns, and shot his 686+ too, and despite
being great shooters all the 2005 guns were just tighter in all ways on fit & finish [minus the rubber
Hogue grips being used on most 2000+ S&W wheeguns].

mrbalbowski
04-19-2012, 7:34 PM
I have a S&W 66-3 2.5" and a 686+ dash 7 3" and love them both. get the 686+ and pick up a 6 shooter as well and get the best of both worlds. You should be pleased with either I think.

scarville
04-20-2012, 7:50 AM
If you don't like the looks of the Lock, then you can get the Plug:

http://smith-wessonforum.com/accessories-misc-sale-trade/143299-fs-plug.html

I put it on two of my 686's.

philobeddoe
04-20-2012, 7:58 AM
mine

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff296/gophernuts/Colt%20Government%20Model/P1170472.jpg

lunde
04-20-2012, 10:16 AM
My favorite centerfire revolver is the 686+ with 2.5-inch barrel. Mine wears Nill grips, which make firing it a more pleasant experience.

http://lundestudio.com/photos/sw686p-nill-left-full.jpg

sneather
04-20-2012, 10:31 AM
My favorite centerfire revolver is the 686+ with 2.5-inch barrel. Mine wears Nill grips, which make firing it a more pleasant experience.

http://lundestudio.com/photos/sw686p-nill-left-full.jpg

That is just a great looking rig. Those Nill grips are simply without equal. They certainly cost it, too, but nothing even gets close to how well made they are.

Gryff
04-20-2012, 10:53 AM
If you are going to use it for self-defense, get the 686+. If you are even remotely considering using it in competition, then get the 6-shot. And I have to say that shooting a revolver in competition is fun as hell because it is a COMPLETELY different manual of arms for reloads than a semi-auto (not to mention trigger pull). I'm a semi-auto guy, but I find myself really enjoying the revolver for occasional competition.

It would be a handicap to have a seven or eight shooter in competition. IDPA requires the seven (and eight) shooters to be loaded with only six rounds. For obvious reasons, no one uses them. Kind of silly for a "practical" shooting sport but that's the rule.

Not silly at all. By keeping the capacity to six, IDPA doesn't exclude the millions of S&W K-Frames and Ruger full-size revolvers out there. There are far more 6-shot revolvers in circulation than there are 7-shot. Up the max load to 7, and all those people have to upgrade guns to stay competitive.

Freq18Hz
04-20-2012, 11:35 AM
MIM should not be regarded as a fault for revolver action parts. They'll be mfgd w/tighter
tolerances than the older parts.
.
Late 686/686+ (i.e., w/MIM parts) are very very good guns with very good triggers and excellent
barrels and top-notch accuracy. There'll be less shooting variability across a pool of new-generation
686s than between those from a pool of brand-new old-generation 686s.
.
The 'lock' issue is spurious. A few internet posts have magnified this into something drama queens
and collectors jump up & down about. Real-world shooters don't have to. Also this happened a
long time ago (i.e, product improvement since). It's also easy to remove its blocking functionality -
just 'shave' the peg.
.
I have both a 1988 vintage 686-2 from my dad, and a 2005 625 (with internal lock). My late buddy,
Calgunner Parag Patel, had a 2005 686+. I love both my guns, and shot his 686+ too, and despite
being great shooters all the 2005 guns were just tighter in all ways on fit & finish [minus the rubber
Hogue grips being used on most 2000+ S&W wheeguns].


Not going to argue with what you said above, but I will say in my experience checking out new/late model MIM 686's, the gaps are much larger on average, timing isn't as good, nor is alignment (on average).

They don't build em the way they used to.


-Freq

CessnaDriver
04-20-2012, 12:10 PM
I love my 686+.
No issues and a joy.

scarville
04-20-2012, 2:08 PM
Since everyone is putting up pictures... This is my 686 w/3" bbl.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=146249&d=1334955929

Twinspool
04-20-2012, 2:22 PM
Not going to argue with what you said above, but I will say in my experience checking out new/late model MIM 686's, the gaps are much larger on average, timing isn't as good, nor is alignment (on average).

They don't build em the way they used to.


-Freq

The new guns have tighter maximum material conditions, in large part because tolerance spreads are tighter with the newer processes. I have not inspected a newer gun that had issues, but I like to buy Performance Center models because I prefer the ball-detent yokes and tighter B/C gaps.

The old guns were hand fitted and cheaper because labor was cheap and dollars were worth more. A lot has changed that has nothing to do with S&W's management.

goofcat
04-20-2012, 11:02 PM
Thanks for all the info, keep it coming.

Damm! someone just sold a 686 3 inch today for $595! Got to remember to check ads several times a day

Gryff
04-20-2012, 11:38 PM
Damm! someone just sold a 686 3 inch today for $595! Got to remember to check ads several times a day

That was a special run made for a foreign police department in somewhere like Brazil or Australia. They were made in .38 Special only (can't fire .357 Magnum). I saw one at a gun show in Florida a couple weeks back and posted here about it.

Funny how it is the same gun (other than the .38/.357 thing) as the 686 CS-1, but sell for 40% of the price.

That 3" full underlug sure has nice symmetry to it.

saki302
04-21-2012, 4:53 AM
Dr. Lunde- of course your 686+ has Nill grips :D I'm becoming a Nill whore myself, but my revolvers have the factory rubber for now.

Bill Wiese has it right- I've done trigger work on both post and pre-MIM guns. Comparing them side to side, the trigger on my 625 (MIM pre-lock) is far better than my uncle's 625(old hammer mounted firing pin pre-MIM). Smoother, no stacking before hammer release, better fit and finish. This is after both revolvers received the same minor internal polishing and Wolff reduced power rib spring kits.

-Dave

lunde
04-22-2012, 6:39 AM
Heck, I even have Nill grips on my S&W M&P 360:

http://lundestudio.com/photos/sw-mp360-nill-left-full.jpg

http://lundestudio.com/photos/sw-mp360-nill-top.jpg

redcliff
04-22-2012, 7:31 AM
I own a number of Nill grips also; I think their coke-bottle reproduction has an extremely nice feel and beautiful wood and checkerring.